A new Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll shows Gov. Mike Beebe (D) maintaining his high job approval rating, while Sen. Mark Pryor (D) appears to be battling a voting public frustrated at Washington.
In a survey of 582 statewide voters on Thursday, April 21, 2011, Beebe’s job approval rating ranked at 67%. Only 22% disapproved of the job the Governor is doing, while 11% had no opinion.
In a Talk Business-Hendrix Poll taken during the legislative session, Beebe had a 62% job approval rating with only 19% disapproving of his job performance.
"Beebe’s numbers are amazing," said Dr. Jay Barth, professor of political science at Hendrix College, who helped craft and analyze the poll.
"Beebe crosses partisan lines where a majority of Republicans approve of his performance and obviously an overwhelming percentage of Democrats. It is geographically broad, age, ethnicity – it’s across all groups," he added.
Sen. Mark Pryor, who is not up for re-election until 2014, may be the next big target for Arkansas Republicans who gained two Democratic House seats in 2010. In our poll, Pryor received a 40% job approval rating, with 36.5% voicing disapproval of his job performance. 23.5% did not have an opinion on Pryor’s job performance.
Could Pryor be suffering from the forces that sunk Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) in her 2010 re-election campaign?
"I think to some degree he is. Certainly, he has become a polarizing figure because basically all things political – especially now related to Washington – are polarizing," said Barth. "Assuming he runs for re-election, we’re going to see a tough Republican opponent… I think the national Republican Party is going to see this as a winnable seat mainly due to the poor performance of Democrats in national elections over the last couple of cycles."
Barth added that Pryor is in better shape than Lincoln since the election is still two cycles away, the popularity of his family’s name, and the fact that he has some better numbers in Republican-rich northwest Arkansas than most Democrats normally pull.
You can watch more of Barth’s poll analysis, including his comments on the Arkansas Legislature, federal health care reform and the Arkansas Supreme Court’s overturning of Act 1 in the video below.
This poll was conducted by Talk Business Research and Hendrix College. The poll, which has a margin of error of +/- 4.1%, was completed using IVR survey technology on Thursday, April 21, 2011 among 582 registered Arkansas voters statewide. Congressional Districts were represented by 25% per district. You can access the full poll at this link.
All media outlets are welcome to reprint, reproduce, or rebroadcast information from this poll with proper attribution to Talk Business and Hendrix College.
For interviews, Brock can be reached by email at email@example.com. Barth can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.